Galway set for potential night-time economy reform

Galway is set for a potential reform of its night-time economy next year under proposed legislation and pilot schemes.

It will be one of the nine pilot areas participating in the Night-Time Advisor Initiative. It will also be affected by the General Scheme of the Sale of Alcohol Bill.

The Bill was the basis for a licensing law reform approved by Cabinet. If also approved by the Dail and Seanad, pubs will have the option of staying open until 12:30 am and nightclubs until 6 am starting next year.

Licensing Law reforms 

“Our outdated licensing laws were consistently raised as one of the key obstacles to change, innovation and creativity by those working in the night-time economy,” said the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D..

“I hope that everyone can get behind these changes, which will see a more streamlined, efficient and transparent system to licensing, more in step with a modern and diverse society and hopefully open up more opportunities in the cultural sector.”

Johnny Duggan is the owner of Taylor’s Bar based on Upper Dominick Street.

While pointing out that the reforms were purely proposals, he would welcome the reform if it was carried out as outlined.

“At the moment, it’s just proposals, but if enacted as outlined, then I would welcome the reform,” Mr Duggan said.

“I think having a standard closing time with the same time every night of the week is good for everybody because the consumer knows that a bar would close every night at half twelve…I think that’s helpful that it gives an extra hour to trade a few nights of the week for the business for little to no additional cost.

“So, I don’t think it has a massive impact because you’re not open much later than that on a Friday or Saturday night. It’s just a case of whether it’s worth your while staying open,” added Mr Duggan.

New Night-Time Economy Committee to be formed.

Galway will also benefit from the Night-Time Advisors Initiative under the support package announced by Minister Martin.

Galway applied for the pilot scheme and was successfully chosen by an evaluation committee alongside Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Kilkenny, Drogheda, Sligo, Buncrana, Co. Donegal and Longford Town.

This means a Night-Time Economy Committee will be formed in the city, with applications for newly appointed Night-Time Economy Advisors underway.

“These new pilot towns and cities will now recruit new Night-Time Economy Advisors who will help drive and support a more sustainable night-time economy in their specific areas,” said Minister Martin.

“They will work with businesses, communities, venues, residents and artists to create a more vibrant nightlife for all and bring vitality back to our city and town centres safely and sustainably.

“I want to thank the City and County Management Association (CCMA) for their role in leading this process, and I look forward to getting the Advisors in place and getting started.”

Ann Marie Farrelly, Chair of the CCMA Business, Enterprise, Innovation, Urban/Town Economic Renewal Committee, added that the role of the Night-Time Economy Advisors is “key to delivering co-ordination at a local level to help support, drive and sustain a more vibrant and diverse night-time economy.”

She added the learnings from the nine pilot schemes would inform the general roll-out of the scheme across Ireland.

Read more Galway news here!





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